Friday, 14 August 2020

Cromore House

ROBERT ACHESON CROMIE MONTAGU JP (1854-1931), of Cromore, County Londonderry, Lieutenant-Commander RN, married, in 1880, Annie Margaret, daughter of Gilbert McMicking, of Miltonise, Wigtownshire and had issue,
George Frederick (1883-1958), Lieutenant RN;
Cuthbert Francis;
Austin Robert;
Walter Philip;
Gilbert Paul;
Alexander Cyril, Sub-Lieutenant RN;
Mary Helen; Mary Emily Winifred.
Mr Montagu was the eldest son of the Rt Hon Lord Robert Montagu by Mary Ellen his first wife, daughter and heir of John Cromie, of Cromore, and grandson of George, 6th Duke of Manchester.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MICHAEL CROMIE MONTAGU DL (1881-1966), who wedded, in 1907, Libia, daughter of Señor Martin Montes, of Quilmes, Argentine Republic, and had issue,
Alicia May (1919-2005).

JAMES CROMEY is recorded as having three hearths at Tullaghgore, County Antrim, in 1669.

MICHAEL CROMIE, a merchant living in Dublin, acquired land at Tullaghgore in 1738 from the 5th Earl of Antrim. 
Portstewart was founded in 1792 by John Cromie, who named it after his maternal ancestors, the Stewarts of Ballylesse. Portstewart developed into a modestly sized seaside resort in the mid-19th century under the influence of John Cromie. Its development and character was influenced greatly by the "sabbatarian" sensitivities of the Cromies and the consequent resistance to a railway connection in the mid 19th century. Portstewart's name is relatively modern and came into being from 1734 onwards when Alexander McDonnell, 5th Earl of Antrim, gave the lease of a boat slip and surrounding lands to the Stewarts of Ballylease, a branch of the Royal Stewarts and the same Stewarts who owned Ballintoy.
The Cromore estate passed to the Montagu family through the marriage of Ellen, daughter and heiress of John Cromie, to the Rt Hon Lord Robert Montagu MP, younger son of George, 6th Duke of Manchester (see Tandragee Castle).

CROMORE HOUSE, near Coleraine, County Londonderry, is a two-storey mansion which dates from ca 1777.

The earliest part of the house comprises the four central bays; the extensions were added about a century later.

The first occupant appeared to be G A Wray.

John Cromie certainly occupied the house in 1834, when improvement work was undertaken with cut sandstone and the two-storey wings which were installed to either side of the original mansion; and single-storey entrance porches that flank each extension.

The building work might also have included the two-storey, L-shaped stable-block situated to the north-east of the house.

The outbuildings to the extreme north-east of the house (presently restored and utilised as holiday cottages) were erected in the same period, presumably as part of the same general improvement work throughout Mr Cromie’s estate.

All of these additions were completed by 1860.

A schoolhouse was built on Cromie’s land in the 1830s, though was demolished between 1888-94.

John Cromie continued to live at Cromore House until his death in 1875, at which time administration of the Cromie estate, including all his lands in the Portstewart and Portrush region, passed to his representatives.

At this time the estate’s gate lodge was constructed.

Robert Acheson Montagu came to live at Cromore in 1886, residing there until 1931.

Mr Montagu retired from the Royal Navy to settle at Cromore House, near Portstewart.

The mansion comprised thirty "inhabited" rooms and possessed a large number of out-offices, including four stables, four cow-houses, a dairy, four piggeries and a barn which were located in the estate's numerous outbuildings.

Robert Montagu purchased Cromore House outright in 1907.

In 1911, it was noted that he resided at the estate with his wife and daughter, employing a number of servants to manage the house.

Robert Montagu continued to reside at Cromore House until his death in 1931.

The surviving gate lodge was erected for a new avenue with access to the then new railway line.

There is an older, surviving screen and walling contemporary with the house.

The walled garden, probably contemporary with the house, is not kept up and the glasshouses have gone.

In the 1870s, the estate comprised 3,315 acres.   

Following its sale by the Montagu family in the mid-20th century, Cromore became a residence for post-graduate university students.

It operated as a residential care home till 2014.

The outbuildings located to the far north-east of Cromore House, formerly utilised as farmbuildings, have been renovated and converted into a holiday cottage complex known as Cromore Village.

First published in November, 2010.


Gavin Bamford said...

Now up for sale (07/2014) at £300,000 for a grade A listed building with 37 bedrooms. Talk about a house with a granny flat!

Anonymous said...

Kimbolton was sold for almost the same amount! ....

Anonymous said...

I note there is no mention of the son Robert who also lived there with his parents and sister Alice.

Norrie MacQueen said...

I lived in the house for most of the time between 1970 and 1976 (undergrad then postgrad at NUU). Fabulous Christmas parties with the huge groundfloor Adam fireplaces roaring away. No mention here of the scandal of the abuse and death of a child at the hands of the lady of the house in late Victorian time. The inevitable ghost story meant nobody would stay in the house alone.

gloria said...

Norrie do you remember a Father O'Keefe from your time ?Believe he left the priesthood and is now married .Friend of mine ,fellow student staying at Cromore would love to make contact .